"There have been studies that more than 50 percent of medication histories are wrong in some way," Hymel says. "[Patients are] taking too many of one or not enough of another. They've swapped their husband's pills with their pills in their medication organizer, so all of these little bugs in the system that are very easy for patients to make mistakes on become apparent when you say 'show me'."
Not everyone will have an iPhone 4S with a flash (or equivalent) in the immediate future, so the industry will continue to have a variety of different technological approaches to medication adherence. Some of them will be evolutions of the classic pill organizer.
Two such examples are MedMinder and SentiCare. There are others. We're likely to see many such technological solutions contend for a permanent place in healthcare. But with so many lives at stake, and costs waiting to be cut like so much low-hanging fruit, the time is now for exploring what options exist.